November 18, 2019
Most of the great July '89 tour is in the shadow of the Alpine Valley run - and has been since the tapes were first traded (particularly 7/17). Yet this show is the 2nd best of the tour. GDP likes to draw from this tour too (16 releases have covered all but one of the 11 Jul89 shows), though this show was not released until 2019. June & July were a stretch of shows so good that we thought it would last for years to come. But it didn't last even months. It was a summer of ecstasy; a level of shows only repeated once more, in winter/spring '90, though for my money this is most consistent month in Dead history. Like 7/2, Los Lobos opened this night. It was 95deg during this show, and that was outside of the stadium - which meant some songs have noticeably detuned guitars. But the X factor makes up for it.
First Set. Shakedown is a very fine opener. Check Phil. The Jack Straw is stadium-sized, and the ace West L.A. tucks-in a helluva sequence.Victim is almost as good, and the brio of Brown Eyed carries into a Queen Jane that's effortless (and not at all draggy). Jer excels at the dynamics in the capper Bird Song.
Second Set. China Cat starts in the same overdrive. Though in I Know You Rider, instead of his 1st solo Jer tentatively restarts the chorus (one of several small mistakes wiped from the official release - the luxury of multitrack!). The next few are average to above average, but don't skip Space. It's a stadium-swirler. Gimme Some Lovin' doesn't get anywhere special and they soon leave it alone. The rest is an absolute flight. It's funny how the simply-arranged Goin' Down the Road could excite Jer so much. It's uptempo and goes into the Goodnight Jam section spot on. Next, an almost perfect Throwing Stones lets them stay in the zone for Not Fade Away. They have the entire stadium right on stage with them for Brokedown (and this whole show).
1st Set: A-
2nd Set: B
Overall = 4½ stars
The whole 1st set is an effortless peak
Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad>Brokedown Palace - another prime sequence
SOURCES: The 142610_UltraMatrix_sbd_cm_miller is the cleanest SBD. The 142581.sbd_miller_fixed is a copy (both are the Healy mic-matrix SBD). The bertha_6943 is a Bertha-mastered version of the hi-qual Tepper AUD. The show is usually up on YouTube, and was officially released from a 24-track source. The starting three of the 1st set are on the Scrapbook DVD in hi-qual.